Ramen noodles – the long, thin noodles that you tend to find in ‘3 minute’ packets – are among the most satisfying quick-fix meals on Earth. Whether it’s the convenience, versatility or – most likely – the full-on sensory experience of the soup-n-noodles slurp, those who love ramen really love ramen: in Japan, they even have a term (“ramen otaku”) for ramen nerds, a subculture of internet foodies who document every ramen experience and discovery on their blogs.
Ramen culture has flourished since the late 1950s, and if you’ve observed the lovingly-depicted consumption of the noodles in their Manga and cinematic manifestations, you’ll know there’s only one way to eat it: to slurp. The idea is to get a good splash of broth with each forkful or chopstick of ramen to get that immersive noodle-eating sensation. But if you tend to take your noodles in packet form or solely from one of the many professional outlets that have popped up in recent years, you may not be conscious of the full range of options available to you. That is about to change.
In one elegant cheat sheet (you might want to print and laminate it, to guard against splashing), our ramen aficionados have broken down the preparation process into a 13-point guide. Leading the intrepid noodler from the selection of aromatics, soup bases and garnishes to a step-by-step cooking guide (it’s quick and easy), the Ultimate Ramen Cheat Sheet provides the potential for endless combos, each one healthier and tastier than the last.
Whether settling in for a comfortable evening by yourself or trying to spice things up for the whole family, the ramen noodle – when appropriately prepared – is an exotic and nutritious treat that can be reimagined for every single meal. Just don’t forget your bib!